This easy gluten free banana bread recipe is everything you could want: moist, tender, delicious, and packed with tons of banana flavor but not too much sweetness. Best of all, you only need one bowl and 10 minutes of prep to pull together this yummy recipe.
It's perfect for breakfasts, brunches, desserts, and any other time you're craving some banana goodness. Plus, your non-gluten free family and friends will have no idea that their new favorite banana bread recipe is gluten free.
(Yes, this version really is that good!)
Why this is the best gluten free banana bread recipe
You know how the crumbs from a truly moist quick bread like banana bread can be picked up with the back of a fork? This is that gluten free banana bread.
The acid of the sour cream tenderizes the crumb of the bread. You can also use plain Greek yogurt instead, with very good results.
Sugar also tenderizes baked goods. In this recipe, that comes from the sugar added to the batter, but also from the ripest mashed bananas you can find.
The batter is stiffer than the batter for gluten free banana muffins, though. A softer batter has more moisture, and your bread won’t hold its shape.
Oh, another reason this is the best banana bread recipe? You only need one bowl! Not having to pull a separate bowl for mixing means faster cleanup and less mess between you and that warm bread when it comes out of the oven.
Does anyone make banana bread in the summer?
Yes! Smoothies are nice, but there's just nothing better to do with perfectly ripe bananas any month of the year than to make the most delicious banana bread.
This gluten free banana bread recipe has no season. It's so good, you won't mind turning on the oven in the dog days of summer to make it.
Tips for making the perfect gluten free banana bread
To make the perfect gluten free banana bread, follow this recipe precisely, measuring by weight, not volume. And follow these tips:
Select your banana bread ingredients carefully
The proper gluten free flour mixture
Be sure to use one of my recommended gluten free flour blends, measured by weight. Be sure to check out my tutorial on how to make your own superfine rice flour at home if you're mixing your own flour blend.
The right bananas for your banana bread
You want very ripe bananas!
Use bananas that are almost overripe. If you have too many, try also making our gluten free banana cake. Waste not, want not.
Here's a trick for always having proper “baking bananas” on hand. Whenever you find that you have perfect banana bread bananas, simply peel them and place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the bananas are very firm, then transfer the frozen bananas to a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer.
When you're ready to use the bananas, defrost them either at room temperature or in the microwave for about 20 seconds on 75% power.
Don't over-mix the bananas in the batter
Mash the peeled, ripe bananas very well before adding them to the batter. Then fold them into the batter at the end, rather than stirring aggressively.
Use room temperature ingredients when baking banana bread
This tip comes is a good one for nearly all recipes, not just this one (except pastry!). Cold ingredients, especially solids like butter and ripened bananas don't mix as well if they're cold or frozen.
When you allow your ingredients to come to room temperature, you'll notice it's so much easier to mix them. You'll also notice a finer end product because you didn't have to overmix your ingredients to fully incorporate them.
Let your gluten free banana bread cool before eating
As tempting as it may be to slice into your bread as soon as it's out of the oven, try to resist.
When you allow your bread to cool, you'll enjoy a better texture. In addition to the improved mouth feel, the bread will be easier to slice and won't fall apart.
What to serve with gluten free banana bread
I'll just come out and say it: This bread is perfectly suitable on its own. For a more rounded meal, you might pour yourself a glass of milk, almond milk, coffee, or your favorite beverage.
If you want to try something different, you can top a slice with butter for an extra touch of moisture or a sprinkle of cinnamon for a more depth. Craving some crunch? Pop a slice into the toaster to create a tempting crust.
Have a sweet tooth? You can up the sweetness factor of this bread by adding a splash of maple syrup or a dribble of honey.
You can also turn this bread into an extravagant dessert by topping it with a scoop of ice cream and some chocolate chips or dollop of cream cheese or vanilla frosting.
How to store your gluten free banana bread
Because this bread is so moist, you can easily store it on your countertop for several days. Place the bread within an airproof container and leave it at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Beyond that, you may notice that it starts to dry out. If that happens, don't worry — it's still perfectly edible. If you want to moisten it, consider using some butter, honey, or syrup.
How to freeze gf banana bread
It's super easy to freeze this flourless banana bread by the slice or by the loaf.
To store by the slice, wait until your loaf has cooled completely and then slice. Wrap each slice in aluminum foil, and then place them in a zip-top bag with excess air removed. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
To store by the loaf, again wait until the loaf has cooled completely. Wrap the entire loaf in aluminum foil, and then place it inside a zip-top storage bag with extra air removed. Full loaves can also last up to three months in the freezer.
While this bread can last in the freezer for longer than three months, you may notice changes in its texture the longer you keep it. This is primarily caused by freezer burn, and that's caused by air trapped with the bread, so try to avoid that if you can.
When you ready to eat, you can defrost a slice by leaving unwrapped on the counter for about 30 minutes. If you're defrosting an entire loaf, try letting it defrost on the counter for at least an hour or until you can begin to slice through the loaf.
Once you can slice the loaf, do so and then warm the individual slices in a warm toaster oven.
Substitutions for gluten free banana bread ingredients
How to make gluten free dairy free banana bread
If you need a dairy free option, in place of butter, try using vegan butter. My favorite brands are Melt and Miyoko's Kitchen. You can also try virgin coconut oil (the kind that's solid at room temperature, even though you're melting it). Raw, unrefined coconut oil is a great choice for a dairy free option, as it beings a very slight hint of nuttiness or coconut flavor to the bread.
You can also try Earth Balance buttery sticks, but they have more moisture than butter. You may need to add another tablespoon of gluten free flour to make the batter the proper consistency.
In place of sour cream, I highly recommend Anita brand plain coconut milk yogurt. Otherwise, any plain, nondairy, gluten-free sour cream alternative should work just fine.
If you're looking for a recipe that's already dairy free, try my cinnamon swirl gluten free banana bread. It's a game-changer, and it's written to be dairy free from the start!
How to make gluten free egg free banana bread
There are two eggs in this recipe. You should be able to replace each of them with a “chia egg.”
For each “chia egg,” combine 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water and allow to sit until it gels. If you have another egg replacer you prefer, try that. This recipe is so adaptable that it might work.
How to make vegan gluten free banana bread
Just follow both the egg and milk substitutions above, and you'll have a yummy vegan bread. Just be sure that your sugars are not prepared with bone char.
How to make gluten free banana nut bread
This recipe is adaptable enough that you can add about 1 cup of mix-ins, and it will still turn out well. If you'd like to make banana nut bread, try folding in 1 cup of soft nuts like chopped walnuts or chopped pecans.
If you'd like, you can also make this into banana chocolate chip bread. Just fold in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips once the batter is otherwise ready to transfer to the pan.
Almond flour banana bread
Almond flour can't be used as a replacement for an all purpose gluten free flour blend. If you would prefer to bake with almond flour instead of a rice-based flour blend, I have another recipe for you.
My Paleo banana bread recipe is made with almond flour. It's also naturally dairy free and gluten free, too. That may suit your needs better.
GF banana bread recipe variations
There are loads of ways to make this gf banana bread recipe your own. You can jazz things up by adding some really good quality chocolate chips or, if you don't like chocolate chips, add some chopped mixed nuts, some pumpkin spice, and some dried cranberries. Or, put a tropical twist on it with lime juice and zest and some shredded coconut. Once you've mastered the base recipe, which is, of course, beautiful and delicious, don't be afraid to experiment a little and create a new, unique family favorite.
Some people like to avoid refined white sugar and use a more natural alternative. And that's fine, but be aware that switching up the recipe in a significant way can change the outcome and you'll likely need to make adjustments. For example, if you choose honey instead of sugar, your bread will be wetter and you'll need more dry ingredients or fewer wet ingredients to balance it.
One option that's a simple one-for-one change is coconut sugar. Now, coconut sugar is a good substitute for white sugar, but it tastes more like brown sugar or like a caramel, and has much larger granules, so it doesn't melt quite as well in baking. You may want to try grinding it a bit before adding it to your banana bread. Remember you'll be experimenting, though, so I can't promise results!
And what about coconut flour?
Few gluten free banana bread recipes use coconut flour. That's because coconut flours is thirsty! If you do try it, remember that you'll need more wet ingredients or you'll need to add honey to balance the extremely thirsty coconut flour. That really requires a completely different recipe, one developed to be made using coconut flour, like our coconut flour blueberry muffins.
Gf banana bread FAQs
How do you make gf banana bread moist?
Adding the correct amount of moist ingredients, like ripe bananas, butter, and sour cream, will result in a beautifully soft, moist bread.
But it's also important that you use the right amount of dry ingredients, like baking soda and baking powder, but especially gluten free flour. Too much flour will soak up your wet ingredients, resulting in a dry, crumbly bread.
The best way to measure out ingredients is by weight. When you scoop flour directly, you may compress it in the cup, accidentally adding more than necessary. Instead, place your bowl on a digital food scale and then spoon the flour into it, stopping when you reach the right weight.
Why did my gluten free banana bread fall?
In general, when baked goods rise in the oven and then fall as they cool, they were baked in an oven that is out of calibration and running hot. The outside of the bread cooks too quickly, before the center has a chance to bake all the way through.
When the steam escapes the bread as it cools, it doesn't have the internal structure it needs to hold its shape. Always bake using a small, cheap, freestanding oven thermometer, as most ovens run hot.
Why isn't my gf banana bread cooking in the middle?
Your banana bread may be raw in the middle because your oven is too hot (see above). Your quick bread may also be raw in the middle if you measured by volume, not weight, and over-measured the sour cream.
You may also just not have allowed your banana bread to finish baking. It's best to use an oven tester and bake until it comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached.
Can you use unripe bananas for gluten free banana bread?
No, you cannot use unripened bananas to make banana bread. As bananas ripen, they develop natural sugars.
Those natural sugars first make the bananas tender. Then, when they're baked into it, they tenderize, sweeten, and flavor your banana bread, too.
Despite lots of claims on the Internet, you cannot ripen bananas by baking them in their skins in the oven. You'll just cook them, but they won't ripen.
To speed the ripening of your bananas, place them in a brown paper bag with an apple. The gases from the apple will speed up the ripening of the bananas.
How long should I let my gf banana bread cool?
Like any quick bread, you must let your banana bread cool completely before slicing it. If you rush, and turn it out of the loaf pan too quickly, it will compress the crumb.
If you try to slice it before it's cool, you'll tear the banana bread, no matter how cleanly you try to cut.
Can you fix undercooked gluten free banana bread?
Yes, sometimes you can fix undercooked banana bread! If you realize that your bread isn't fully cooked within about 10 minutes of taking it out of the oven, and the oven is still hot, put it back in!
The bread won't rise as high as it would have, but it shouldn't lose its shape as much when you finally take it out of the oven again.
Why does gluten free banana bread take so long to cook?
Banana bread is very tender, and doesn't crisp on the outside even when it's fully cooked. It's moist and tender all the way through because it has a lot of trapped moisture in the mashed bananas and the sour cream.
If you place sliced bananas on top of the raw batter in the loaf pan, be very sure you slice those bananas very, very thin. It will still take longer to cook than without the bananas on top, but the extra moisture won't make your bread collapse.
One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread: Moist and Delicious
- 2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Better Batter; click through for full information)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 2 (100 g (weighed out of shell)) eggs at room temperature, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup (150 g) sour cream at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) peeled ripe bananas mashed lightly (from about 2 medium-size bananas)
- 1 small (less) ripe banana for the top (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a standard 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar, and whisk to combine well.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla, then the sour cream, and mix until just combined. Add the mashed bananas (200 g) and fold them into the batter, taking care not to further squish them.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top with a wet spatula. If you're using the optional banana as a topping, place very thinly sliced bananas (cut lengthwise) on top of the smooth batter, sparingly.
- Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown on top, and a tester inserted in the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached.
- Baking time will be about 50 minutes without the additional bananas on top, and about 1 hour with them. If the loaf is browning too fast for the center to bake fully, tent with foil while it finishes baking.
- Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.